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Three Replies to Here We Go Again

Scott Hardie | July 16, 2016
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Aaron Shurtleff | July 16, 2016
I was surprised to read about there not being a lot of negative comments about the trailer for the most recent reboot of Fantastic Four (not to get off the subject at hand, but it was part of the second article). I recalled a lot of folks talking negatively about that movie, but I guess it didn't translate to the same degree of hatred for Ghostbusters. Or maybe sexism is more prevalent than racism. Or maybe people don't care about Fantastic Four as they do about Ghostbusters. Who knows, but it struck me as odd. Maybe I just thought people were more upset than they actually were.

Are you planning to see it anytime soon, Scott? I'd be interested in your opinion. I actually usually end up disagreeing with Roeper (on the rare occasions I read the reviews for a movie), so his dislike doesn't deter me!

Honestly, I don't get how it's even worth getting upset about something like this. But, frankly, I wouldn't be upset if a movie with an all-female cast was being re-booted with guys. (When you're watching Brotherhood of the Travelling Pants, you're welcome!). I think for me, it would have to rise to a totally different level to ping my radar. Like if this movie was an exact copy of the original (and I mean exact!), just with an all female cast, that might upset me a bit, but totally not to any level that I would complain about it to other people.

Here's an aside: I read a news article once about a play that was set in the '20s, and two of the main characters were a soon-to-be-married couple. As I recall, there was controversy about the main male character being played by an African-American man and the female character was a Caucasian woman. But, the argument wasn't (at least supposedly) simply racial. The argument was that, due to the time frame of the play (when an interracial couple was anything but accepted), it distracted from the play, since groom-to-be would never have been able to interact with the bride's family in the way he did during the play. I had always just kind of assumed it was an excuse to be racist without sounding racist, but now I wonder. Would seeing something that didn't fit the timeline of the play (or film, I suppose) disturb you enough to dislike it? (Honestly, I probably wouldn't have even registered it as being particularly anachronistic, but I am not too swift on those kinds of things)

And I am laughing at being linked below to the blog article about how I will never see the Transformers movies because they aren't true enough to the original cartoon! I wrote that in 2007, so this is not a set-up!!!

Also, Happy Anniversary, TC!!!

Scott Hardie | July 17, 2016
Yeah, I recall some people being upset that the Human Torch was cast with a black actor. I always thought that was crap. Catwoman was black when Halle Berry played her, and I don't recall people complaining then; have we become more sensitive in the last decade, or just more attuned to the complaints thanks to Internet exposure and media narratives? Regardless of how a character has traditionally been drawn in comics, if race doesn't specifically have something essential to do with the character (such as Black Panther), then shouldn't any actor of any race be free to play the part? Then again, race does have at least a little to do with the Ancient One, and Marvel cast a white woman, to predictable controversy. I can't help but notice hypocrisy in the liberal feminist defense of the female Ghostbusters while simultaneously being outraged over Asian whitewashing in Doctor Strange; I know that the impulse for liberals is to speak up for underrepresented groups so that they get they all get good parts, but arguing that it's not ok for the Ancient One to become white makes it hard to argue that it's ok for the Ghostbusters to become women, even if they're different Ghostbusters.

Would the anachronism of that 1920s play disturb me personally? Probably not, if I intuited that the makers of the play knew it was anachronistic and proceeded anyway, taking artistic license. Cloud Atlas was a favorite of mine a few years ago and it cast all sorts of actors against racial type, like Tom Hanks as a black rapper, Halle Berry as an Aryan woman in Nazi-era Germany, Korean actress Doona Bae as both a freckled Irishwoman and a Hispanic woman, and so on. This was part of the point of the movie, and it was weird at first until I realized that it was done on purpose. Also anachronistic: The women in Gothic Earth not experiencing oppressive sexism, nor the racial minorities (Nann/Elijah) experiencing rampant racism, other than an occasional mention to acknowledge it. The game just wouldn't be much fun if that element of realism for the time period was involved, so I make a conscious choice to ignore it.

I might or might not have seen the new Ghostbusters of my own accord, as it doesn't look especially good to me. But Kelly is asking to go today, in part because of all of the controversy (she wants to judge it on its own merit). If I do see it, I'll share a "thorough" review as always.


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